The work is concerned with the kinetics, identification of intermediates and reaction pathways of the photocatalytic degradation of the herbicide clopyralid (3,6-dichloropyridine-2-carboxylic acid) in UV illuminated aqueous suspensions of TiO2 (Degussa P25). In the investigated concentration range (0.5-3.0 mM) the photocatalytic degradation kinetics of clopyralid in the first stage of the reaction follows approximately a pseudo-first kinetic order. The highest reaction rate was observed at 4 mg mL-1of catalyst concentration, the apparent activation energy of the reaction being 7.74 kJ mol-1. The effect of the presence of hydrogen peroxide, potassium bromate, and ammonium persulfate, acting as electron acceptors along with molecular oxygen, were also studied. By studying the effect of ethanol as a hydroxyl radical scavenger it was shown that the heterogeneous catalysis takes place mainly via hydroxyl radicals. The reaction intermediates (3,6-dichloropyridin-2-ol, 3,6-dichloro hydroxypyridine-2-carboxylic acid, and 3,3′,6,6′-tetrachloro-2,4′-bipyridine-2′-carboxy lic acid) were identified and the kinetics of their appearance/disappearance was followed by LC-MS/MS (ESI+). Tentative photodegradation pathways were proposed and discussed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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